Every time you turn on the television, listen to the radio or go on social media, there is always a story of suicide, acting suicidal, losing the mind or just bland acting irrationally.
It is becoming maybe a “thing” to the new generation to use the word “depression” comfortably. I kid you not depression is real, it is a cankerworm that would gradually eat you to the point where you wish you were never born. I know it is real because I have been there before.
Life can be thick and heavy, I mean very heavy to the point where you think the world’s problems is on your shoulder, I realized been in a situation is not really the issue, the fact that the world moves on like you don’t even exist, that’s what hits you hard. I have been a bright student all my life so it is only logical to expect good grades from me sikes.
I am sorry to disappoint, but I have failed woefully at that aspect recently because I let depression get the best of me, I also let financial instability, academic complacency, loss of a loved one dictate my output. I could feel my brain literally shut down and at some point, I temporally resided in my thoughts, wake, think, then think again before going to sleep.
I was dwelling in the problem instead of looking for a solution. I found peace in drugs fooling myself by calling it “medication”, depressing music (isn’t it weird Lil Peep dead?), reading poems by depressed authors (unfollowed all those douche bags on all social platforms) and literally embracing depression.
When I finally accepted the fact depression was making me a shadow of myself, I needed a change, I needed a start, not necessarily a new start, but something away from the sunken place I was in, I needed to be Joseph Abalokwu again, the man who rose above mediocrity.
It took me a while, but somehow I figured a way out. It’s not all green and rosy at the other side, but it’s glad to know my output is worth a good night rest.
I am not the omnipotent, but here are 7 simple steps that helped me get that phase and I am certain it might to help you too.
1. Let go:
This is perhaps the hardest, but consequentially the most important one on the list. Most times there is always an underlying reason or cause of your underperforming mental state. You know its origin; you weren’t born depressed, neither will you die that way.
Understand the fact whatever happened in the past has happened. You can’t go back in time to change your situation, deal with the now and future. Forgive yourself, forgive the culprit, and forgive the world. Once you let go, you’ll be let go mentally.
2. Take action:
When you let go of certain situations the next thing on your mind is “what’s next?” Yes, what’s next? You know what’s next? Take action! Change your situation, look for solutions, and act on it. Like I did, throw away anything that would haunt from the past, unfollow / block out the negative vibe, stop doing drugs, change your friends, change your playlist.
3. Engage in flow state:
According to my previous narrative, we have ascertained that alone time allows you to downward spirally into the depressed abyss. In positive psychology, a flow state is a mental state of operation that makes you feel you are fully immersed.
Learn something new, surprise yourself, pick up a new habit, go learn an instrument, learn a new programming language, learn a foreign language, write short positive poems and share with people, just immense yourself in something new.
Ever wondered why great authors make their best projects right after they come out from “finding themselves?
One thing depression made me do was stay inside a lot, I had to cut off my mum, my girl and my boys to satisfy the cankerworm. While being left alone, I had suicidal thought.
Despair was the order of the day. You need to get out, attend your favourite shows, watch your favourite artiste perform ( I saw J. Cole perform, I had to chip this in, sorry…lol) if you followed technique no 3 through, go out and find people with like interests, if you see anyone with negative vibe, run away.
This might sound cliché, but really it works especially if you are still young. Exercise your body and mind, it builds self-esteem. During my downside, I took time out to lift weights just to kill time but now it is almost a part of me.
I get compliment on how buff I have become these past few months and it’s always soothing to hear. I also took out time to read books, good short books, so as not to bore me and finish in a short period.
Books by young people who also went through the same phase I am going through, knowing quite well I am not alone.
6. Watch what you eat:
Eat right, don’t come out bloated or malnourished because it would only hurt you more after you heal. Get your vitamins up, don’t let your down state be obvious to the world.
I would have loved to drop more hints here, but I am not a dietician, get the aid of a dietician for detailed analysis of how healthy eating can help.
7. Pray to your GOD:
This might be another cliché technique, but I tell you it works, we all need something to believe in, whoever or whatever we serve, we are all scared and alone.
We need to be able to cry to a flawless being. It gives hope and faith, the bible calls faith “the evidence of something not seen”.
We all need to be loved by the end of the day, won’t it be nice to be loved by the almighty GOD and let your flaws be washed away?
Let me know in the comment section if my personal tips on how I overcame depression are helpful to you. I’m looking forward to having productive conversation with you in the comment section. Cheers!